Nappa leather comes from the place where it was first made: Napa, California. The soft and pliable unsplit leather from sheep, lamb or kid skins — and sometimes, pig, cow and calf — was first developed by tanner Emanuel Manasse in 1875 for the tanning company for which he worked. It’s a pricey leather, and you can find it on high-end designer or quality home furnishings.
Sometimes people refer to forms of full-grain leather as nappa leather, but each company has its own way of making nappa leather. Taken from the top layer of the hide — where all the grain is — full grain leather develops a natural polish with age and use. But even though a label says full-grain leather, only a few parts of the furniture may be made with it. Check to ensure that if you buy a piece of furniture that says full-grain or nappa leather, the entire surface is covered with full-grain leather and not just the seat and seat backs.